60,000 paramilitary personnel may be deployed in WB polls
New Delhi: Around 60,000 paramilitary
personnel are likely to be deployed during next year's
West Bengal Assembly elections which are expected to be
As the Centre is yet to take a decision on Trinamool
Congress' demand for withdrawal of central forces from Maoist
dominated Lalgarh, Home Ministry officials feel that more
forces will have to be deployed before and during the Assembly
polls in the state scheduled to be held in March-April.
"There could be inter-party clashes, political
violence and other poll-related incidents. We estimate that
around 60,000 central security personnel will be required to
conduct the West Bengal Assembly elections which will be
highly volatile," an official said.
The Trinamool Congress had recently alleged that there
were 59 armed camps in West Bengal that were being operated by
the Marxists and that armed cadres will be used during the
Assembly polls, a charge vehemently denied by the ruling
Home Minister P Chidambaram too had admitted that
there were armed cadres in camps in some parts of the state.
As anti-Maoist operations in the state's three western
districts - Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore - are going
on, the Centre has not been able to take a decision on TC's
demand for withdraw of the central forces from the
Maoist-dominated Lalgarh area.
The second largest constituent of UPA has been
demanding that the Central and the state police forces should
be withdrawn as the ruling Left Front cadres and forces were
"committing atrocities" in the name of tackling Maoists.
Early this month, two Union ministers from the
Trinamool -- Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy -- had met
Chidambaram and reiterated the demand for the withdrawal of
central forces from West Bengal.
Hitting back, the Left Front has claimed that
Trinamool's repeated demand to pull out joint forces from
Lalgarh and Jangalmahal areas was a trick to facilitate Maoist
control in these areas in West Midnapore district.
The operation by the joint forces comprising West
Bengal Police and the Central paramilitary forces started in
Lalgarh in June 2009 to flush out Maoists from that area.